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Focus On Growth, Good Governance Will Transform African Continent

Writing in the Guardian’s “Comment Is Free” blog, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair examines advances made in health and development across Africa since the Gleneagles G8 meeting in 2005, writing, “Today, the positive legacy of that summit is still being felt across Africa: aid was doubled and developing world debt dropped.” He continues, “The very fact that people are still talking about Gleneagles eight years on shows that we were right to be ambitious, to change the debate,” but “when I look back at what we achieved in 2005, I believe the most important story is yet to be told.” He states, “Africa is on the move and if we keep going on the whole Gleneagles agenda — maintain aid but remembering governance and economic growth — the continent will be transformed.”

“If the last decade of development progress was defined by aid, the next will be defined by governance and growth,” Blair writes, adding, “By governance, I don’t just mean transparency, as important as that is, but also the ability of governments in developing countries to get things done.” He states, “African countries no longer depend on foreign aid to keep their heads above water; now they are investing to grow — particularly in areas such as roads and energy.” He concludes, “If Africa continues to grow and continues to improve its governance, we have the chance to fundamentally change the nature of the relationship between Africa and the rest of the world” (3/2).